ATHENS – University of Georgia athletics director Damon Evans was arrested on charges of driving under the influence late Wednesday night in Atlanta, according to Georgia State Police.
According to Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright, Evans, 40, was pulled over at the intersection of Roswell Road by a Georgia state trooper just before midnight on Wednesday in a 2009 BMW after the officer viewed Evans driving erratically.
The officer said he smelled alcohol and administered a field sobriety test, after which Evans was taken into custody at the Atlanta city jail on charges of driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane.
“Once (the officer) got Evans stopped, during the course of that conversation the officer detected an odor of alcohol,” Wright said. “He administered a field sobriety test and determined that Evans was less safe to be operating a vehicle.”
Evans reportedly refused a breath test at the jail.
Another passenger was in Evans’ vehicle at the time of the arrest and, according to Wright, was also arrested. Further details were not yet available, Wright said. Because the arresting officer was part of a DUI task force that deals in a large volume of arrests, no police report was immediately available. Evans was released Thursday morning.
Evans became athletics director at Georgia in 2004 and recently signed a new five-year contract that went into effect this week, raising his salary by $110,000 to $550,000 annually.
Evans has commented several times about the numerous alcohol-related arrests that have plagued the Bulldogs’ football program during recent years. During home football games at Sanford Stadium, Evans appears in a public safety video warning fans not to drink and drive.
As of Thursday afternoon, neither the school nor Evans had commented on the arrest, but a statement by the university is expected shortly.